Vidyadhar Atkore

Vidyadhar Atkore's picture
Vidyadhar Atkore
Senior coordinator (Aquatic ecologist), WWF-India
Real name: 

Research interests

My broad research interests lies in the community ecology, biogeography and conservation of tropical freshwater biodiversity.

My current post-doctoral research work at ATREE is aimed at evaluating the role of anthropogenic and ecological factors on freshwater fish diversity in selected rivers of Arunachal Pradesh, India.

My doctoral research focused on "Drivers of fish diversity and turnover across multiple-spatial scales: Implication for conservation in the Western Ghats, India". The study was conducted in four sub-basins of Bhadra, Tunga, Malaprabha (Karnataka) and Mhadei (Goa). I sampled fishes using non-destructive traditional methods of cast nets (with different mesh size). My results suggests that, i) larger catchments harbors higher number of fish species than smaller catchments. ii) At regional scale (sub-basin), fish diversity was driven by stream size while at the stream segment level it was determined by habitat type, disturbance level and water chemistry variables. iii) Species turnover was higher at smaller spatial scale within and across two adjacent river basins of Bhadra and Tunga. Stream substrate heterogeneity also influenced fish species turnover. iv) Hydrological regulation in terms of river barriers (small to large check dams which serve as storage dams for irrigation purposes), had negatively influenced the water-column position based fish guilds than mid- and bottom dwelling fish guilds. Also, different guilds responded differently to various water chemistry variables. v) And, finally I showed a strong patterns of fish species recovery below dams due to the joining of undammed tributaries in a hydrologically modified sub-basin of Malaprabha river in Karnataka. My study highlights the importance of free-flowing (undammed rivers) in maintaining high fish diversity in the central Western Ghats of India.

Academic record
Ph.D (Ecology). Manipal University, Karnataka. 2017.
M.Sc. (Wildlife Science). Saurashtra University Rajkot, Gujarat, 2005.
B. Sc.(Forestry). Dr.Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidypeeth,Ratnagiri, Maharashtra, 2002.

Work Experience

  • Senior Research Associate - under the National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMHS), Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change, Govt. of India. This work aims to understand the responses of native fish species to the anthropogenic and environmental factors in few rivers of Arunachal Pradesh (May 2016 – till date)
  • Consultant - in the Royal Norwegian Embassy (RNE) project at ATREE. Communicated a research article on fish species recovery (Feb – Apr 2016)
  • Consultant - in the Royal Norwegian Embassy (RNE) project at ATREE. Fieldwork involved in assessing few economically important fishes of Aghanashini river estuary, Karnataka state (Aug 2015 – Jan 2016)
  • Research Associate - in the Ministry of Earth Sciences's Hydrology project at ATREE. Monitored water quality in selected sites in the Aghanashini river sub-basin. Fieldwork involved in measuring stream discharge using salt-dilution method (Jan – May 2015)
  • PhD Scholar - in Conservation Science & Sustainability Studies, ATREE (July 2009 – July 2014)
  • Project Officer- Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) - in the Important Bird Area Program (Sep 08 – Feb 2009).
  • Research Fellow- Wildlife Institute of India - Monitoring of tiger, co-predators and their prey.’ A collaborative project of Wildlife Institute of India and Project Tiger Directorate, MoEF, Govt. of India (Dec 2005 – Jul 2006).

Fellowships and Awards

  • Awarded a grant under the "Indo-US 21st Century Knowledge Initiative Grant" as a visiting scholar at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, USA. 1st-30th Sept. 2018.
  • Awarded a bursary to attend SCCS- Cambridge, UK from 22nd March 2018 to 30th March 2018
  • Awarded a bursary from ATREE to visit Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis, University of Oslo, Norway from 4th December 2017 to 18th December 2017
  • Awarded a travel grant from the Edda G Sehgal, ATREE and World Fisheries Congress to participate in the 7th the WFC at Busan, South Korea from 23rd May to 27th May 2016
  • Awarded a travel grant from the Edda G Sehgal, ATREE to participate in the BioAsia symposium at Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing from 5th – 7th November, 2012
  • The International Foundation for Science research grant 2012
  • The Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation’s Dr Ravi Sanakaran Small Grant 2012
  • Awarded bursary to participate in Student Conference on Conservation Science (SCCS) at Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru from 2-4th September 2012
  • Idea Wild grant for field equipment in 2011
  • Awarded bursary to participate Student Conference on Conservation Science (SCCS) 2011 at Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru from 14-16th September 2011
  • Student fellowship for MSc degree in Wildlife Science (2003-2005) covering tuition and stipend at Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. From Ministry of Environment and Forest.

Scientific publications
Research articles

Atkore, V., Nachiket Kelkar and Jagdish Krishnaswamy. (2017). Assessing the recovery of fish assemblages downstream of hydrological barriers in India’s Western Ghats. River Research & Application. Doi:10.1002/rra.3163

Jagdish Krishnaswamy, Manish Kumar, Nachiket Kelkar, Tarun Nair & Vidyadhar Atkore. (2017). Moving from requiem to revival: India’s rivers and riverine ecosystems, in Transcending boundaries: Reflecting on twenty years of action and research at ATREE (Eds). Ankila J. Hiremath, Nitin D. Rai and Ananda Siddhartha. ATREE, Bangalore, India. Pg. 94-103.

Vidyadhar Atkore and Jagdish Krishnaswamy. (2016). Exploring Freshwater Science. Resonance. Vol. 21. Issue 11: 997-1006.

Atkore, V. M., Knight, J. D. M., K. Rema Devi and J. Krishnaswamy. (2015). A new species of Pethia from the Western Ghats, India. Copeia. 103 (2): 290-296

Knight, J.D.M., K. R. Devi and V. Atkore. (2011). Systematic status of Systomus rubrotinctius Jerdon (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) with notes on the Puntius arulius group of fishes. Journal of Threatened Taxa 3(4):1686-1693. ISSN 0974-7893

Atkore, V. M., K. Sivakumarand A. J. T. Johnsingh. (2011). Patterns of diversity and conservation status of freshwater fishes in the tributaries of river Ramganga in the Shiwaliks of the Western Himalaya. Current Science 100(5): 731-736.

Atkore, V.M, K. Sivakumar, and A.J.T. Johnsingh. (2007). Length-weight relationship and relative condition factor of juvenile golden mahseer Tor Putitora (Hamilton 1822), in the tributaries of Ramganga River, Uttarakhand.Journal of Bombay Natural History Society 104 (2): 161-164.

Book and Field guide

Atkore, V. M., K. Sivakumar and A. J.T. Johnsingh. (2012). Diversity distribution and conservation status of freshwater fishes in the Shivaliks Himalaya, Uttarakhand, India. ISBN 978-3-8473-0190-5.Pp 78. (

Y.V. Jhala, Q.Qureshi and R. Gopal. (2005). Monitoring tigers, co- preadators, prey and their habitats. Second ed, rev. Technical publication of Project Tiger Directorate, New Delhi and Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. Narayan Bhure and Vidyadhar M. Atkore.English to Marathi translation of a field guide for forest guards.


Anirudh Datta Roy, Ashok K. Mallick, Ishan Agarwal, Jahnavi Joshi, Sandhya Sekar, Sneha Vijayakumar, Varun Torsekar, Vidyadhar Atkore, Vijayakumar, S. P. (2010). Inventory of faunal diversity in the proposed Gundia Hydro Electric Project sites, Gundia basin, Hassan District, Karnataka. Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.

Jhala Y. V., Qureshi Q., Raza R., Bharadwaj M., Jena J., Prudhvi Raj P.G., Das U.N., Swain K., Atkore V. M., Singh R.K.J. (2006). Habitat occupancy and abundance of tigers in Panna Tiger Reserve, MP. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun

Atkore, V. M. (2005). Conservation status of fishes with special reference to Golden mahseer Tor putitora in the tributaries of Ramganga River, Uttaranchal.M.Sc. dissertation towards partial fulfillment of MSc degree in Wildlife Science.

Atkore, V.M. (2005). Himalayan butterflies. A status survey report submitted to H.N.B. Garhwal University Srinagar, Uttaranchal. Aug - Sept 2005.

Atkore, V.M. (2005). Bird survey along the Bhagirathi and Alaknanda rivers, Uttaranchal, India. A status report submitted to H.N.B. Garhwal University, Srinagar, and Uttaranchal. Nov- Dec 2005.

Popular articles in magazines/newspaper


  • Presented a poster on ‘Preliminary assessment of fish fauna in the upper Malaprabha river basin of the Western Ghats, India’ at the 4th Regional BioAsia Seminar, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China. November 5th-7th, 2012.
  • Presentation made on ‘Conservation of threatened fishes of Western Himalaya, Uttarakhand’ in Young Ecologists Talk & Interact (YETI 2009) Student Conference at Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru on 24-26th Sep 2009.
  • Presented a poster on ‘Need to study the impact of climate change on Himalayan freshwater fishes’ in the BNHS International Conference at IISc, Bengaluru from 17-19th February, 2009
  • Presented a paper on ‘The freshwater fish diversity in the tributaries of river Ramganga in the Shiwaliks of the Western Himalaya, in the Symposium ‘Lake 2008: Conservation and Management of River and Lake Ecosystems’ 22nd to 24th December, 2008. Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, India
  • Presentation made on “Conservation status of fishes with special reference to golden mahseer Tor putitora, in the upstream of Ramganga river, Uttaranchal” for the XIXth Annual Research Seminar, Wildlife Institute of India. September 22-23rd, 2005 Dehradun.

Conferences/ Workshops/ Seminars attended

  • 4th Bio-Asia Regional Seminar, Beijing, China (From 5th–7th November 2012).
  • Student Conference in Conservation Science, Bengaluru(September 14th-16th 2011).
  • Workshop on Downstream impacts of dams in the Western Ghats region at Jog Falls, Sharavati Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka. Organized by Save Western Ghats Movement and International Rivers – South Asia (April 29th -1st May 2011).
  • International Turtle Symposium, Goa. (From 27-29 April 2010).
  • International Conference on ‘Conserving nature in globalizing India’ jointly organized by BNHS &IISc, Bengaluru (Feb 17th-19th 2011).
  • XIXth Annual Research Seminar WII, Dehradun (From 22nd-23rd Sept 2005).
  • XVIII th Annual Research Seminar 2004, WII, Dehradun (Sept 20th – 21st 2004).
  • The International Galliformes Symposium organized by World Pheasant Association& Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun. (From 5th-10th April 2004).
  • XVII th Annual Research Seminar 2003, WII, Dehradun (From 8th – 9th Dec 2003).
  • National Seminar on ‘Advances in forestry education research and extension’sponsored by Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Dehradun and Dr. B.S.K.K.V. Dapoli, Maharashtra (From 27th – 28th May, 2003)

Trekking, birding, writing, reading, cooking and traveling

Thesis Title: 
Drivers of fish diversity and turnover across multiple spatial scales: Implications for conservation in the Western Ghats, India
Date of Graduation: 
30.11.2017, Thursday
Graduation Batch: 

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Dr. Jagdish Krishnaswamy's picture

Dr. Jagdish Krishnaswamy

  • Senior Adjunct Fellow, ATREE
  • Ecosystem Services & Human Wellbeing